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‘Unbelievable’: Ex-Trump official stunned president is still letting Giuliani run around unchecked in Ukraine

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In a Washington Post report on the continuing attempts by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to dig up dirt on political opponents — at the same time that President Donald Trump is facing impeachment for pressuring Ukraine with the promise of aid for the same — a former Trump administration official expressed shock that Giuliani hasn’t been told to stop.

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According to the report, “Even as the House of Representatives began drafting charges against President Trump this week, his private attorney, who many believe is partly responsible for leading Trump on the path to his likely impeachment, made an audacious trip to the country at the center of the scandal.”

“Rudolph W. Giuliani departed Kyiv after meeting with a range of Ukrainians who have been feeding him unproven allegations against former vice president Joe Biden and helping construct a counternarrative that is taking hold in the Republican Party,” the Post reports. “The latter story line asserts that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, including with the baseless theory that Ukraine, rather than Russia, was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.”

According to the report, White House insiders who already see Trump’s personal lawyer as a loose cannon, are stunned by the brazenness with which Giuliani is boasting about what he is doing — particularly because he is reportedly being investigated by both the Justice Department and SDNY — and that Trump is allowing him to create more legal issues down the line.

“Current and former officials in Washington expressed astonishment at how Giuliani — apparently on behalf of the president — seemed to be mocking impeachment investigators, if not the very idea that either he or his client should answer any articles of impeachment,” the Post reports, with Jeffrey Edmonds, who served as Russia director at the White House National Security Council under both Barack Obama and Trump, giving voice to concerns.

“It’s unbelievable to me the open way in which the administration and Giuliani are still pursuing this,” he told the Post, before adding, “It is a way of . . . asserting that everything that we’re doing is perfectly normal, perfectly fine and we’re going to keep doing it.”

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Democrats are equally shocked.

“It’s a brazen move,” claimed Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Il), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee. “This is emblematic of this White House: When they are in the wrong, they double down. And in this case, they are tripling down.”

You can read more here.

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Mitch McConnell is manipulating Trump to keep him from prolonging impeachment trial: NYT’s Haberman

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Appearing on CNN on Sunday morning, the New York Times' Maggie Haberman said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is stringing an anxious Donald Trump along and manipulating him to go along with his plan to wrap up the Senate impeachment trial.

Speaking with host John King, Haberman claimed that McConnell is speaking to Trump in such a way that the president may think that McConnell's ideas are his own.

"Do you think the president will -- e could do this over two more days but does he give up a day of TV time?" King asked about the impeachment trial

"McConnell has convinced him, it's taking him some time, back and forth," B Haberman explained. "The president had to be allowed to believe it's his idea or that he wasn't being led along but he's generally done what McConnell wanted. He [McConnell] wants this over quick."

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‘Stop lying’: Experts and observers discredit Trump attorney’s impeachment defense with readily available facts

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After three days of House impeachment managers’ brilliant prosecution of President Donald Trump – and “prebuttal” of the arguments the president’s team was expected to make – White House attorneys Saturday morning began their defense of President Trump.

It’s not going well.

Deputy White House Counsel Mike Purpura (photo) has been making the majority of today’s arguments – they have decided that not enough people will be watching on TV so Saturday’s defense will last not eight but just two hours.

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How Mike Pompeo is a ‘master’ of ‘messaging’ that panders to ‘End Times evangelicals’

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The Christian Right loves President Donald Trump for a variety of reasons, from his racist rhetoric and anti-immigrant views to all the far-right judges he has added to the federal courts. But journalist Stephanie Mencimer, this week in an article for Mother Jones, focuses on one of their most disturbing reasons for being so pro-Trump: an obsession with the End Times.

In Protestant Christianity, one finds both fundamentalists and non-fundamentalists. Mainline Protestants (Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Lutherans, the African Methodist Episcopal or AME Church) study the Bible intensely, but they don't have the obsession with the End Times and the New Testament's Book of Revelation that the fundamentalist Christian Right has. And even though Trump himself is not a fundamentalist (he was raised Presbyterian), he is more than happy to pander to far-right white evangelicals — who, as Mencimer explains in her article, believe that Trump is important to the end of the world. The Christian Right welcomes the End Times because as they see it, Jesus Christ will return to Earth in the last days.

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